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My Background as a yoga practitioner and teacher.

I commenced practising some yoga postures, initially as a child, as a result of reading books that were available around the family home. I remember trying the ‘Lotus Position’ because it looked cool. I also dabbled with meditation as I got older but didn’t really “get it” 

Decades later during 4 months in California studying music, my flatmate invited me to an early morning yoga class in Runyon Canyon Park but for some reason, I declined to go … however it made me seriously think about starting yoga. Finally, back in the UK, I went along to a  Yoga class  I attended wearing the wrong clothes with the wrong mat, and very shy and nervous.

The class was hard!

In particular, repeated postures were forcing me to open my shoulders, and hips and stretch my hamstrings. Inversions highlighted weaknesses in my wrists and hands and exposed a fatter belly than I had previously acknowledged. I also realised my core strength was almost non-existent.

But I went back. I got a better mat, and some more suitable clothing, and stuck at it each week. At first, it was purely the physical side of yoga that interested me, but gradually I noticed it was having a positive effect on my mood.  I became increasingly interested in what this practice was doing for me. It was making my life better, somehow easier. I was more focused and happier as well as noticeably more comfortable in my own body, so I was now very interested in yoga and looked forward to every class. 

Qatar

In 2010 during a six-month music contract performing on the Pearl, Doha, Qatar, in my spare time, whenever I could, I attended Yama Yoga Studios.

This was my first introduction to Ashtanga yoga. The teacher Valerie Jeremijenko was inspiring. The practice was remarkably hard, It was also VERY hot in Doha. 

However, I loved it.  Maybe not so much during the class, but the feeling after was amazing. I could feel it transforming me. After this experience, I was now fascinated with yoga.

One time I attended a teacher training class by mistake but was kindly allowed to stay and practice with the other trainee teachers. It was very embarrassing for me as I had no idea what I was doing. Despite this, the first seeds of thought of passing my very limited knowledge to others started to occur to me.

India

I returned to the UK with a thirst for more knowledge of Ashtanga yoga. However, I could not find any classes that came close to my experience in the middle east.

Needing a deeper immersion into yoga in general in 2011 I travelled to India and attended the Himalaya Yoga Valley Training Centre.

My-self and other trainees from all around the globe, spent twelve hours per day, six days a week training in meditation, pranayama, chanting, anatomy, asana and yoga philosophy. Eating a purely vegetarian diet and living 2 mins walk from a beautiful beach. The experience was fantastic and life-changing. I returned to the UK as a fully qualified yoga instructor.

Fortunately, I found several opportunities to start teaching.  Plymouth life centre (Tom Daley) , Brickfields sports centre and Plymouth’s own dedicated studio The Yoga Loft. I also continued to study and gained level 3 REPs, A diploma in body massage and completed an ITEC diploma in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology.

After two years of teaching yoga in Plymouth. It was time for some more travelling!

France

Relocating to Marseille in the South of France in 2014, through friends I ended up with my own class at a dedicated Ashtanga school Yama where I taught for one year.

I was able to attend all other classes and learnt a great deal from my inspiring fellow yoga teachers including Vanessa Brouillet, Alexia Galleron and Savitri Igos.

Returning again to the UK in 2017, I resumed my classes and also had the opportunity of teaching yoga to medical students at Plymouth University. In 2019 an eight-month trip to Australia where I attended many yoga studios offering a wide variety of yoga styles and two trips to Bali Indonesia attending 108 yoga daily (one of my favourite yoga studios) and up to three times a day! added hugely to my experience.

steve osman

Author steve osman

Steve Osman is a Musician and a Yoga Instructor.

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